Elon Musk wasn’t lying last October when he said Bloomberg that 75% of employees at its newly acquired toy, Twitter.com, would not lose their jobs under its ownership, as The Washington Post had reported at the time. Turns out it’s closer to 80%. Of the roughly 7,500 people who worked there before Musk’s takeover, CNBC reports Friday that just 1,300 total, and less than 550 full-time engineers, are left in the shell of a company, through layoffs or voluntary resignations.
CNBC also notes that 75 employees are currently on furlough, 40 of whom are engineers, while the Trust and Safety team, which oversees content moderation on the site, has been reduced to less than 20 full-time employees. This news comes to an end in a seemingly endless string of mistakes since Musk announced an unsolicited $44 billion bid to buy the social media site last April.
In addition to firing everyone who wasn’t arrested, Musk reinstated several far-right and fascist accounts that had previously been permanently banned without even a second glance at the “moderation board” he was supposedly going to establish. He’s made critical operational decisions based on Twitter polls — and that’s after trying to pull out of the deal to buy Twitter in the first place with trumped-up complaints about the prevalence of bot users and how easy it is to trick Twitter polls.
He used the bantam to silence critics ranging from journalists to college students. Musk brought in employees from his other unrelated companies, including members of the SpaceX and Tesla teams; and fired employees for questioning their business acumen. Its $8 blue check verification scheme has been launched in leaps and bounds, while ad revenue is down 40% as advertisers look to escape its sinking ship. His first interest payment on the $13 billion debt he leveraged to buy Twitter, which is now valued at about $15 billion, is due at the end of the month.
But Twitter isn’t the only company firing employees like water on a wet dog’s coat. Google laid off 12,000 employees this week, Amazon laid off 18,000 people worldwide and Microsoft eliminated 10,000 positions. Between the three of them, they put about 70,000 people out of work last year alone.
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